Doubling Up: Braces, Hat-tricks and other consequtive feats at the Tour de France

The best cyclists in the world compete at the Tour de France, and as the cream rises to the top, the best can win not just one stage, but multiple stages of the race. However, there is a somewhat rarer feat – winning on consecutive stages. This is harder than it sounds, especially in the modern era, where in a drive to avoid being ‘boring’, organisers stick a lump in at the end of every other flat stage and put time trials in between mountain stages. As a result, winning twice in two days is harder than it sounds. 38 of the Tours 100 editions have not featured such a feat, although some men have gone even better: there are 8 instances of someone recording three stage wins in a row, three of four in a row, and one record of five stages in a row that will probably not be beaten for some time, if at all.

2 in a Row:

The most common achievement by some way is winning twice in two days, a feat achieved 97 times in 62 Tours by 66 men. All of the 5 time winners club bar Jacques Anquetil and Indurain managed it: Merckx and Armstrong each have three to their credit, Hinault has a solitary double, and the most celebrated sprinters in Cavendish, Leducq, Maertens and Cipollini all feature. What follows is the list of those doubles, with the nationality and the stages they managed to do it in in brackets. Some stages are in decimals – back in the day, the Tour ran multiple stages in one day, and so for instance there was stage 10 part 1, 2 and 3. Each had a separate winner and was counted as a stage in itself, so someone winning stage 10 part 2 and stage 10 part 3 (abbreviated to 10.2-10.3) would be seen as having won two stages.

Bernard+Hinault+Eddy+Merckx+Tour+de+France+AiVdget0H43l
1903: H. Aucouturier [FRA] (2-3), M. Garin [FRA] (5-6)
1904: J-B. Dortignacq [FRA] (5-6)
1905: J-B. Dortignacq [FRA] (10-11)
1906: –
1907: E. Georget [FRA] (7-8)
1908: F. Faber [LUX] (3-4)
1910: O. Lapize [FRA] (9-10)
1911: P. Duboc [FRA] (8-9)
1912: –
1913: M. Buysse [BEL] (11-12, 14-15)
1914: O. Egg [SUI] (4-5), F. Faber [LUX] (13-14)
1919: J. Alavoine [FRA] (4-5, 7-8), L. Lucotti [ITA] (12-13)
1920: H. Pelissier [FRA] (3-4), P. Lambot [BEL] (5-6), P.Thys [BEL] (12-13)
1921: L. Mottiat [BEL] (4-5), F. Goethals [FRA] (14-15)
1922: E. Masson [BEL] (11-12)
1923: J. Alavoine [FRA] (6-7), H. Pelissier [FRA] (10-11), F. Goethals [FRA] (14-15)
1924: O. Bottecchia [ITA] (6-7), N. Frantz [LUX] (11-12)
1925: N. Frantz [LUX] (4-5), O. Bottecchia [ITA] (6-7), L. Buysse [BEL] (11-12), H. Martin [BEL] (16-17)
1926: L. Buysse [BEL] (10-11), N. Frantz [LUX] (12-13)
1927: A. Leducq [FRA] (23-24)
1928: A. Leducq [FRA] (10-11)
1929: A. Leducq [FRA] (17-18)
1930: A. Binda [ITA] (8-9), C. Pelissier [FRA] (10-11)
1931: R. Di Paco [ITA] (10-11, 21-22)
1932: F. Bonduel [BEL] (6-7), R. Di Paco [ITA] (17-18), A. Leducq [FRA] (20-21)
1933: L. Guerra [ITA] (6-7), G. Speicher [FRA] (8-9), A. Leducq [FRA] (13-14)
1934: R. Lapebie [FRA] (3-4, 14-15)
1935: –
1936: R. Le Greves [FRA] (12-13.1)
1937: E. Meluenberg [BEL] (13.2-14.1), R. Lapebie [FRA] (17.3-18.1)
1938: E. Meluenberg [BEL] (4.1-4.2), M. Kint [BEL] (15-16)
1939: M. Archambaud [FRA] (10.2-10.3)
1947:  –
1948: G. Bartali [ITA] (7-8), R. Impanis [BEL] (9-10)
1949: –
1950: –
1951: –
1952: F. Coppi [ITA] (10-11)
1953: F. Schaer [SUI] (1-2)
1954: –
1955: –
1956: –
1957: A. Darrigade [FRA] (22-23)
1958: –
1959: –
1960: –
1961: –
1962: –
1963: –
1964: –
1965: –
1966: –
1967: –
1968: C. Grosskot [FRA] (1-2)
1969: B. Hoban [GBR] (18-19)
1970: W. Godefroot [BEL] (4-5.1), E. Merckx [BEL] (10-11.1)
1971: J. Manuel Fuente [SPA] (14-15)
1972: E. Merckx [BEL] (13-14.1), C. Guimard [FRA] (14.2-15)
1973: –
1974: E. Merckx [BEL] (9-10), J-P. Danguillamue [FRA] (17-18)
1975: B. Thevenet [FRA] (15-16)
1976: F, Maertens [BEL] (1-2, 18.1-18.2, 21-22.1), J. Zoetemelk [HOL] (9-10)
1977: P. Sercu [BEL] (12-13.1)
1978: J. Raas [HOL] (1-2), G. Knetemann [HOL] (21-22)
1979: B. Hinault [FRA] (2-3, 23-24)
1980: –
1981: –
1982: –
1983: –
1984: –
1985: R. Matthjs [BEL] (1-2)
1986: G. Bontempi [ITA] (22-23)
1987: –
1988: –
1989: –
1990: –
1991: C. Mottet [FRA] (11-12)
1992: –
1993: T. Rominger [SUI] (10-11)
1994: P. Ugrumov [LAT] (18-19)
1995: –
1996: –
1997: M. Cipollini [ITA] (1-2), E. Zabel [GER] (7-8)
1998: M. Cipollini [ITA] (5-6)
1999: T. Steels [BEL] (2-3), L. Armstrong [USA] (8-9)
2000: T. Steels [BEL] (2-3)
2001: L. Armstrong [USA] (10-11)
2002: L. Armstrong[USA] (11-12)
2003: A. Petacchi [ITA] (5-6)
2004: –
2005: T. Boonen [BEL] (2-3)
2006: –
2007: –
2008: M. Cavendish [GBR] (12-13)
2009: M. Cavendish [GBR] (2-3, 10-11)
2010: M. Cavendish [GBR] (5-6)
2011:  –
2012: A. Greipel [GER] (4-5)
2013: –

Andre Greipel was the last man to complete the feat in 2012.
Andre Greipel was the last man to complete the feat in 2012.

3 in a Row:

Three stages in a row was, in the early days of the Tour, a once in a decade experience, with one occurence of each in the 00’s, 10’s, 20’s, 30’s and 40’s.After that though, it became a once in fifty year occasion – and not even that if you follow the record books, which have now wiped Lance Armstrong’s string of three wins in a row in the 2004 Tour from the books, which is a shame – it featured an Alpe d’Huez TT win sandwiched between two impressive summit finishes, the second of which it looked for all the world he had lost until he pipped the hapless Andreas Kloden on the line. Armstrong actually ended up taking 5 stages in 7 days in that Tour.

article-2221346-159FD2DB000005DC-544_634x481

Elsewhere, the man infamous for being penalised for letting someone pump the bellows, Eugene Christophe, gets in on the acts, whilst the first three time champion in Phillipe Thys and the man whose career was cruelly cut away by the war, Gino Bartalli, also feature in this exclusive club. 1922 even saw two men win three times in a row: It will probably be some time before that it repeated.

bartali

1906: L. Trousselier [FRA] (9-11)
1912: E. Christophe [FRA] (3-5)
1919: H. Barthelemy [FRA] (9-11)
1922: J. Alavoine [FRA] (5-7), P. Thys [BEL] (8-10)
1933: J. Aerts [BEL] (19-21)
1948: G. Bartali [ITA] (13-15)
2004: L. Armstrong [USA] (15-17)

4 in a Row:

I expected to find more examples of 4 in a row from the Tours early days, but there was only one from the third edition: Eventual winner Rene Pottier won 4 stages in a row, as well as the final stage, and then the race had to wait a quarter of a century for Charles Pellisier to do the same thing in the last four stages of the 1930 race, which was a bit greedy given he’d already won 4 stages before hand. He could have had a grand total of nine if he hadn’t been relegated for tugging Alfredo Binda’s jersey on the 6th stage as well, which would have given him the outright record for wins over Maertens and Merckx.

Rene Pottier
Rene Pottier

Just before the turn of the Century, Mario Cipollini, originally just trying to equal compatriot Gino Bartali’s record of 3 in a row from 1948, managed to take four in a row as well, albeit in controversial circumstances. Having lost twice to Tom Steels in the flat first week, Cipollini then won the next two stages, only to be pipped by Steels as he went for the record. However, Steels, who was already seen as a bad boy because of the fact he’d been disqualified from the Tour in 1997 for throwing a waterbottle in the sprint, was disqualified once more for cutting across the line on other sprinters, giving the victory to the man in second – Cipollini. The next day though, Cipo made no mistakes in ensuring the win, and took the last sprint stage before the mountains before promptly sigining on dressed as Julius Casear in a toga the next day.

Ah, Cipo.
Ah, Cipo.

1906: R. Pottier [FRA] (2-5)
1930: C. Pelissier [FRA] (18-21)
1999: M. Cipollini [ITA] (4-7)

5 in a Row:

Winning five stages in one race is in itself is a rare thing, so winning them all in a row is even more incredible. That is however what Francois Faber managed in 1909, one his way to 6 stages and overall victory. One for the Schlecks to go after perhaps?

François-Faber-à-larrivée-de-Paris-Roubaix.
1909: F. Faber [LUX] (2-6)

 

Honourable mentions

Sometimes, pesky things like the end of the race get in the way of peoples winning streaks. From what I can find, three men have won stages consecutively between Tours, ie they won on the last day of one race, thenthe first day of the next. This has been less common these days due to the ubiquity of prologues and sprint finishes on the Champs-Elysees, but 2014 gives Marcel Kittel a good chance given there are two sprinter friendly-ish stages at the start of next years race.

hinault_203d0503e7657a842a5f430158d3e99c

O. Bottechia won 2 in a row 1924-1925
A. Darrigade won 3 in a row 1957-1958
B.Hinault won 3 in a row 1979-1980

Multiple doubles

19 men have won consequent stages twice or more, whether it be in the same Tour or over a number of years. Some have even done it 3, 4 or even 5 times…

2.    J-B. Dortignacq [FRA] (1904, 1905)
F. Faber [LUX] (1908, 1914)
H. Pelissier [FRA] (1920, 1923)
L. Buysse [BEL] (1925, 1926)
O. Bottecchia [ITA] (1924, 1925)
N. Frantz [LUX] (1924, 1925)
E. Meluenberg [BEL] (1938, 1939)
B. Hinault [FRA] (1979 x 2)
M.Cipollini [ITA] (1997, 1998)
T. Steels [BEL] (1999, 2000)

3.    M.Buysse [BEL] (1913 x 2, 1925)
J. Alavoine [FRA] (1919 x 2, 1923)
R. Di Paco [ITA] (1931 x 2, 1932)
R. Lapebie [FRA] (1934 x 2, 1937)
E. Merckx [BEL] (1970, 1972, 1974)
F. Maertens [BEL] (1976 x 3)
L. Armstrong [USA] (1999,2001,2002)

Eddy_Merckx

4.    M. Cavendish [GBR] (2008, 2009 x 2, 2010)

Mark-Cavendish-and-Mark-R-001

5.    A. Leducq [FRA] (1927, 1928, 1929, 1932, 1933)

leducq

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